For most people, the last day of school is the official kick off to summer. It’s a time to celebrate beautiful weather and have some fun in the sun!
The key to having a great time and making the most of what the season has to offer is being organized and prepared for summer activities. This being said, many people stress out over how they will keep everything orderly and pleasant for the whole family.
For those who are almost tearing their hair out even though it's only the beginning of June, there's no need to fret. The MomReps at PishPoshBaby have compiled a must-have list of tips that will help moms and dads keep their sanity this summer:
- Daycare/Camp – “I’m bored!” Do you want to prevent your kids from saying these two dreaded words? Sign them up for daycare or day camp a couple of days a week. It will give them something to look forward to, keep them stimulated and learning new things, and, best of all, it gives them the opportunity to socialize with kids their own age while on break from school. There are many camps available that cater to kids' hobbies like dance, art and sports. If your kids are younger, a diaper bag or tote will be essential for staying organized and providing everything they will need to get through the day.
- Road Trips – Take-along items for a road trip are a summer time sanity saver. Keep a travel case or backpack filled with on-the-go activities to keep kids entertained on the road. Pack items like books, crayons and coloring books, and iPads for games and music. If your kids are old enough, have a family sing-along or play travel games like “I Spy.” You may also want to include a portable DVD player to entertain kids with their favorite movie or learning programs. If travel times will include naptime or bedtime, be sure to pack their favorite blanket, pillow, or baby doll to help them fall asleep.
- Car Shades – Nothing is worse than getting into an overheated car at the end of a fun day. Park in an area that will have afternoon shade, and as an added protection use a sunshade to block the heat of the sun. Also roll all windows down before loading the kids in the car, as this will cool down the interior of the car.
- Coolers – If you’re headed to the park, the beach, or a drive in the mountains for a picnic, include a separate cooler for beverages. Ice won’t last all day, but an insulated drink carrier will help extend the life of ice to keep juice boxes and waters cold for longer periods of time.
- Baby Essentials – If you have a newborn or toddler who may not be old enough to get around on his own, a baby carrier is a must. Nestling them into a carrier will save your neck and shoulder muscles and free up your hands so that you can assist older kids. Umbrella strollers can also be a lifesaver in crowded spaces like a museum or the zoo. They fold up easily for transport and provide a handle to mount the diaper bag, which eases transport from point A to point B. Stroller organizers are useful for keeping items like pacifiers, toys and wipes at your fingertips. Cup holders can also be mounted to the stroller to keep bottles available at a moment’s notice.
- Swimsuits – Kids love to play in the water, and swimsuits are a summer essential for water babies. By having several swimsuits on hand, you can always be prepared for swim lessons, playing in the pool, or going to the beach. Nothing is more of a bummer than needing a suit and discovering that it’s in the laundry. To extend the life of your kids' swimsuits, rinse them after exposure to chlorine or salt water, do not wrap wet suits in a towel, hand wash them in cold water with a gentle detergent, and let them air dry. Never leave swimsuits to dry in the sun, as their colors will quickly fade.
- Sun Screen – Preventing sunburn is a priority for every parent. Whether the kids are at the pool or in the backyard, sunscreen is an essential part of summer safety and skin protection. Use a waterproof sunscreen with an SFP of at least 30 that blocks both UVA and UVB rays. If your child has fair skin, consider using an SPF 50 for added protection.
- Snack/Lunch Containers – Busy moms need to keep healthy snacks readily available for hungry kids. Preparing snacks ahead of time in portion controlled containers will make grab-and-go easy, which will save frustration when kids want a snack.
- Hair Accessories – Active kids, especially girls, need to have their hair put up and out of the way. Make sure you always have pony tail holders and barrettes on hand to keep hair restrained. For kids who enjoy playing outdoors, a ball cap or sun hat will help protect their faces during periods of too much sun exposure.
- Beach Towels/Toys – Fun at the beach, pool or water park requires extra preparation. Over-sized beach towels provide a clean space for small kids to play and eat, while older kids can wrap themselves and warm up after swimming. Packing special water-safe toys or floaties for younger children will also help keep them engaged to ensure an enjoyable experience for the entire family.
- Cameras – Nowadays, most smartphones are equipped with high quality cameras and video recorders. Take plenty of pictures to share with friends and family. Kids also love to look at pictures and remember the fun they had on family excursions. Having a record of their first time diving off the diving board, their first home run, or just splashing at the beach will be memories that will be cherished for a lifetime.
Being a parent during the summer can be like being a cruise director on a ship with hundreds of activities to plan and orchestrate. Summertime can be one of the busiest times of the year for families that have multiple kids, so taking time to breathe and get organized will make life on the go much more pleasant. Take advantage of the many products that are available to make your life more manageable as you navigate the fun of summer.
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